Ruling against Exclusive Remedy

Author Subject: Ruling against Exclusive Remedy
Marty Posted At 01:29:39 12/26/99
The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that the doctrine of exclusive remedy in workers' compensation does not protect an employer from legal action in certain instances—even when workers' compensation benefits have been paid. In Stoecker v. Brush Wellman Inc., decided on July 1, 1999, the court unanimously overturned lower court decisions that had prevented workers with chronic beryllium disease from suing Brush Wellman over breach of contract.

Brush Wellman had promised its employees that if they got diseased from work their salaries would be paid in full. However, when nine workers at the firm's Tucson plant got sick, Brush Wellman reneged on its guarantee. The company argued that the contract claims were barred by the state's workers' compensation exclusivity provision.

The court properly found that Brush Wellman's attempts to expand the doctrine of exclusive remedy to bar breach of contract claims "would be very bad policy." "Such an interpretation," the court said, "would allow an unscrupulous employer that had no intention of performing its promise to take advantage of gullible, unsophisticated, or desperate workers. We refuse to adopt a rule that reaches these untoward and undesirable results."

Marty Re: Ruling against Exclusive Remedy (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 15:26:07 12/30/99

Here's some court decisions around the U.S. involving exclusive remedy. Many of these are absoulutely frightening. It appears to be open season on employers injuring workers and then getting away with "murder". Makes you wonder if we really do live in a democracy or whether the courts and the politicians are nothing but willing puppets in the hands of corporate AmeriKa. The site is here

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